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Has anyone had hair loss while on gabapentin?

22 Answers

NOWIKNOW1 16 Sep 2022

I am just now noticing this is the reason why my hair is thinning. I suffered a horrible nervere injury. Huge lawsuit pending. I was being administered a shot that hit my sciatic nerve!. I Now have foot drop for life. But like Tom Cruise said in Vanilla Sky "F" my arm! Why is my hair suddenly falling out immediately after this injury?? I was told it was just a natural male progression. NO WAY! I have had Hair like Fabio my whole life. I have been on Gabapentin """"2400 mg a day"""" gang for 2 years now. I am stopping completely. I can deal with the nerve pain over this. After 2 years though, do you guys think it will grow back after discontinuation -- or is the damage done. It took me a while to notice because I have very waivy hair for a guy. Any actual doctors on here or no? Just wondering. Thanls in advance.

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JLeeChafin 21 April 2022

Have been taking 1200MG of it for the last 6 months for sleep and have been shedding. Just found out it causes hair loss. I'm now terrified that I will have to choose insomnia or baldness. Is there anything I can do?

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nelson12 5 Feb 2022

I was prescribed gabapentin, first 300mg then 1200 mg daily and within 2 months my hair began to fall out. I didn't know why at first. It didn't bother me too much in the beginning but I was asking doctors why and after a year, my full head of thick hair was making me think I'd eventually go bald. It did help with back and knee pain though. I asked all my doctors what is causing this hair loss and they looked at me like I still have a lot of hair, so what's the problem. We know when something isn't right! I finally narrowed it down to the gab and went to dermatologist and she said she has heard of this so I took myself off gradually. It took three or four months for the gab to get completely out of my system and my hair started growing back. So, the good news, is that your hair will grow back!

Votes: +0
Notsomuch 13 Jan 2022

I only take 300 mg at night,for my leg pain, and iam loosing lots of hair, how can only 300 mgs make me lose hair, i guess i will learn how to deal with the pain that keeps me from sleeping at night, gabapentin was helping me so much that way, iam really depressed about having to quit, but its better than going bald. Also how long does it take after quitting gabapentin that your hair stops falling out?

Votes: +0
raptorjue 18 July 2021

Yes I am experiencing hair loss and I've only been on Gabapentin 3.5 months.

Votes: +0
MooMoo2you 23 June 2021

I think we are all here for the same reason, we know something just ain't right. I have Spondylolisthesis in my lumber, and bone spurs in my cervical. My neuro first prescribed gab 100mg (3xday) a few years ago. He bumped me up to 600mg (3xday) about 4 months ago.

I started noticing something around that time. I have (or had) very long thick curly hair... all one length, with just a few bangs. I started getting bad tangles at the bottom-back of my head and I'd brush huge matted knots out in the shower. This wasn't normal, so at first I changed my necklace thinking maybe the clasp was causing the knots. Well, it got worse. So, then I changed my shampoo/conditioner.

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My hair continued to get matted in the back, and I started losing the thickness from all the knots I was brushing out. I started researching menopause because I am 48 years old. I changed my daily vitamin to something more nutritional. I was ready to start hormonal replacement therapy ... when I discovered something. I had no hair on my legs! None! This isn't perimenopause.

My last resort was looking at Gabapentin, as it's the only drug I regularly take, other than my daily vitamin and occasional advil, etc. And BOOM, there it was, gabapentin and hair loss.

I don't know what my plan of action is, at this point. I have tremendous pain, so I'm not sure if coming off gabapentin is the right thing to do. But as of yesterday, the top of my head is very sparse.The hair is actually falling out and getting caught up in the attached curls rather than falling to the floor, causing my length to be jagged and clumped because the under layer is either shorter or gone, with big wads of tangles. My "ponytail thickness" is smaller than a dime now. Do I just cut it?? I've never had short hair!!

These last few weeks I've worn hats, as my hair is very embarrassing. Has anyone tried an OTC hair growth treatment? Herbs maybe? I feel like I shouldn't have to choose between overall pain relief and my hair!!!

Votes: +0
kecola 20 July 2021

Yeah I went through the exact same thing. My hair started thinning at the ends too. I don't even know how that's possible but it happened any time I got back on gabapentin. I also have bald patches on my legs. I'm not complaining about that part but the hair loss is devastating. Once I went off the gabapentin my hair grew back to its original length and thickness. Unfortunately, if you do continue to take it your hair will keep falling out. From what I've researched about gabapentin it extends the telogen phase (resting phase) of your hair so any hair that grows during this phase will shed. Your hair stays in this phase as long as you're on gaba. It also depletes folic acid and several other vitamins and minerals responsible for hair growth. Have you tried Kratom? It's a natural supplement that helps with pain. I take it for my lower back pain from scoliosis. Maybe you could try that?

Aunt Jane 2 April 2021

Your question is an eye-opener for me! I've been on Neurontin since the mid-90s with no noticeable side effects, and no real benefit. Then Gralise came along.

Gralise is a formulation of gabapentin that delivers significantly more drug every time you take it. You see, gabapentin is normally only absorbed in the several inches of your GI tract from the bottom of the stomach to the very beginning of the gut, e.g., the small intestine. What doesn't get absorbed just passes through the remainder of the GI tract. Gralise causes the gabapentin to remain in that absorptive area for considerably longer than it does otherwise; think of it as a flotation device, a flotation collar that keeps it from floating downstream through a narrow gap.

On Gralise, I had some expected benefit and no noticeable side effects.

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Then some very smart scientist had the best idea yet—combine the gabapentin molecule with a molecule the body recognizes as food! It is then absorbed the entire length of the gut; genius!This form of gabapentin is branded as Horizant and has been very helpful in relieving symptoms that have troubled me for years, with no noticeable side effects…until this discussion popped up!

I have been horrified with my hair. The texture has changed from straight and fine to kinky in many places. Then it began to get patchy. And definitely during the time I've been on Horizant, it has definitely gotten very thin, especially on top of my head. Thank you, all of you, for the revelation!

As it happens, my insurance has just decided to stop paying for Horizant; as you can imagine, it is expensive. I've been off of it for about three weeks now, and, thankfully, my symptoms have not worsened. Now I'm hopefully going to keep on keeping on, without gabapentin. And pray that my head will once again be covered with its "crowning glory!"

Votes: +1
yarnballclock 2 April 2021

I am stopping Gabapentin TODAY! I started it back in Feb 2019 because I was also tapering my benzo (klonopin) and my shrink rx it to me as a "precaution" to not have a seizure. By April 2019 I told my shrink I was losing a good bit of hair. He didn't even entertain it. I investigated... and yes, tapering my klonopin can cause hair loss but AS SOON as I started Gaba my hair shedding got so bad.
I went to my dermatologist October 2019 (ALL my blood work came back perfect). The Dermatologist shrugged off the idea of it being Gaba or klonopin taper and put me on women's rogaine So I have been doing that faithfully every night for over a year and the hairloss got worse.

So now with more than half my hair gone, I told my shrink I am stopping the gabapentin.

HOW LONG until I start noting hair regrowth?
I am SICK of prescription drugs!

Votes: +1
nelson12 5 Feb 2022

I was prescribed gabapentin, first 300mg then 1200 mg daily and within 2 months my hair began to fall out. I didn't know why at first. It didn't bother me too much in the beginning but I was asking doctors why and after a year, my full head of thick hair was making me think I'd eventually go bald. It did help with back and knee pain though. I asked all my doctors what is causing this hair loss and they looked at me like I still have a lot of hair, so what's the problem. We know when something isn't right! My hair dresser said right off the bat, "your hair is much thinner". I finally narrowed it down to the gaba and went to dermatologist and she said she has heard of this so I took myself off gradually. It took three or four months for the gaba to get completely out of my system and my hair started growing back.

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So, the good news, is that your hair will grow back! I just cut my hair yesterday to get rid of the thin ends and the future is looking bright, FINALLY. Everyone, get off of the drug! It destroys your nature nutrients for hair health. I started to take a folic acid supplement and more vitamin D which has helped.
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rockytyme 28 Jan 2021

I was recently given Gabapentin for my sciatic pain. I started taking it mid September but only at night 300mg. By November, I started to notice my hair was falling out. My brush was full every week and when I dried my hair Id have a pile of hair on my lap. I went to my doctor for my physical and told her about the hair loss. She didn't say much. But she told me that I could also take Gabapentin throughout the day for my pain. So I began doing that in January, (now 1/28/21) and now my hair is really falling out. I am so sick of these Big Pharma's destroying us. Do not take this drug. Now I have to wean myself off of this. I had neck surgery a year and a half ago and my hair was finally growing back in the neck area.. Now I am back to square one with almost half of my hair gone.

Votes: +1
sjp2020 26 Oct 2020

Hi there - started gabapentin in fall 2019, after not taking it as prescribed for neuropathy after decompression surgery in January 2019. Winter 2020 is when I noticed SIGNIFICANT hair loss, in conjunction with the height of Covid-19 crisis. So right off, some of the hair loss could potentially be contributed to stress. But, more importantly, I also am deficient in vitamin D AND iron deficient due to anemia. Gabapentin, like many drugs, can deplete your stores of various nutrients/vitamins, and with me ALREADY being deficient in both - which are essential to hair growth, along with other things - the Gaba more than likely took me over the edge. I've been gaba free for about a month, and upped my take of vitamin D and iron (which I should have been doing in the first place). I've also started a regiment of using various oils in my hair - peppermint, castor oil, and nettle oil to name a few.

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I am black american, so oils work better for my hair in general. I *think* Im starting to see growth, but only time will tell. I also know I feel almost exactly the same NOT taking gaba re: my nerve pain. Hope this helps.

Votes: +1
AthleticAlley 13 Oct 2020

I am just now realizing how much gabapentin damaged my hair. My hair was falling out and being washed down the drain so much that I would have to snake the drain once a week. I stopped taking it but the damage is done. I have to just wear protective styles and baby my hair and scalp until my hair bounces back. It’s so embarrassing... each strand is so thin, I have low density fine hair but it used to cover my scalp well and was never lifeless when blow dried. Now it looks like straw when I blow dry it. You couldn’t even tell how fine if was unless you touched it. Now I am embarrassed to have the top of my head showing which is impossible not to do because I’m shorter than virtually everyone. I stopped taking it several weeks ago and my hair no longer sheds. Only a few strands daily. I will NEVER take this medication again.

Votes: +1
yarnballclock 2 April 2021

I'm curious since its almost 6 months since you stopped, are you seeing any new growth? I'm like you, I've always had Fine/Thin hair but it was full. Now my scalp shows. I am also embarrassed. I stopped yesterday... but am crossing my fingers it will bounce back in 6 to 12 months

kecola 21 May 2020

Yep! Every single time that I've taken gabapentin for a continuous period of time I've lost a LOT of hair. It's weird because the ends of my hair would start thinning out and it then move up the hair strand. I also had induced alopecia that caused bald spots in various places on my scalp. Gabapentin depletes quite a few vitamins that are essential for hair growth with the main one being folate.

Even when I supplemented with folic acid and folate while on gabapentin it stopped the hair loss but my hair wouldn't grow either. Now that I'm off the gabapentin for good my hair is growing back in SO thick and fast! I've only been free of gabapentin for a month and a half but it looks like I've gotten 2 months worth of growth already. That means that my hair started growing back shortly after quitting gabapentin so thank God there was no permanent damage.

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My hair was in horrible shape while on this hellish drug and I had just accepted the fact that I would have to wear a wig for the rest of my life. When I look in the mirror now I'm shocked and grateful that that wasn't the case and that I got my hair back. So whomever comes across my comment, hang in there! If I can grow a full head of thick hair back after what it was put through then you can too! You do have to get off of gabapentin for that to happen though which is for the best anyway. The long-term effects of this drug are scary!

Votes: +4
RosieWA 19 May 2020

I've been taking gabapentin for 4 months now and thought I was imagining the hair loss. Yesterday I was visiting my parents and got a different view of the top of my head because of how one of their mirrors is hung and I can see the difference easily. I've got 5 weeks till my spinal fusion then I'm hoping I can get off of the gabapentin and my hair will return. 2 years ago I had a problem with hormonal imbalance that also caused me to lose a lot of hair, I started taking DIM and biosil and little baby hairs started growing in weeks. I'm going to start taking them again too, maybe it'll help slow the hair loss that's currently happening.

Votes: +1
sofar5times 16 April 2020

I have neuropathy itch. I always feel like I'm getting itchy goosebumps. The best way to describe is to imagine millions of bugs crawling every part of your body... even the tucked away private parts. It's complete misery. Anyway, I was give Gabapentin. I didn't like how the drug made me feel, but noticed less itchiness. Within 6 months, my hair was falling violently. I thought maybe the loss of my father had something to do with my hair falling. So I stopped, and about 3 months later got back on. During that break baby hair started to grow. I started Gaba again. 3 weeks ago I stopped because my hair kept falling. The bathtub was clogged with all the hair that came out. I stopped again. My hair doesn't have the same quality; it's lifeless, and I'm afraid it might not come back this time.

I guess I have to put up with the terror of all the itchiness. I sure do not want to go bald! All I know is that Gabapentin is a really bad drug.

Votes: +0
cleo130 30 March 2020

I have been on Gabapentin for over 15 years and I have not had any hair loss. I take it for Interstitial Cystitis, but previously took Elmiron for the IC and experienced a good deal of hair loss with that drug. Good luck to you.

Votes: +1
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pain, fibromyalgia, gabapentin, pain medication, hair

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